Richard H. Goodwin Trail, Part 2

Posted By on October 27, 2017

Richard H. Goodwin Trail, Part 2

6.72 miles; East Lyme, CT

Finally, after nearly a year, I completed the Richard H. Goodwin Trail. This second section literally never left the woods, except to cross 1 paved road. It went mostly through the Nehantic State Forest, then across some private property (Yale Outdoor Education Center), and finally finished at the Darrow Pond Preserve in East Lyme. Super fun walk. Missed the dogs from Part 1, though. Oh, and the human they came with.

Confidence Blazes

As was the case when Stacy and I walked it last December, the trail is blazed with these yellow-and-green logo signs. But they have added white rectangular blazes as well, so it works pretty much like the Bay Circuit Trail, with mostly white blazes and occasional “confidence” blazes with the logo on them.

The Day After Rain

I was on the trail the day after heavy rains in our area. I half expected to see no color, but it was still plenty colorful. And the smells were amazing. Wet woods, herb-y smells, musky deer smells, mushrooms, and I swear I smelled cinnamon, too. It was intoxicating.

Nehantic State Forest Signage

Yes, there is hunting allowed in here, but I didn’t see a single person till almost the very end of the trail. It was quiet and peaceful. I couldn’t even hear any road noise for most of the hike.

Lion’s Mane!

Found another Lion’s Mane mushroom, too, but this one was waaaaay over my head. And to be honest, it looked a little old to me.

Private Property

Once the trail finally left the Nehantic State Forest it entered a stretch of private property. There was nothing more than this signage, nothing to indicate ownership, but I was curious enough that when I got home I checked, and it appears to be part of the Yale Outdoor Education Center. I didn’t see any of the fancy infrastructure mentioned on their web page, nor did I even see the lake. But there were plenty of blazed trails all through here, so I was happy about the white and “confidence” blazes of the Goodwin Trail.

Fungus Close-up

There was actually a lot of fungi throughout this hike, but the only one I recognized that was edible was the out-of-reach Lion’s Mane. Although I understand you can make tea from Turkey Tails like the ones pictured. From the Mushroom Appreciation webpage on Turkey Tails:

The ubiquitous turkey tail is not a gourmet mushroom. You won’t see them on a five star menu sauteed with wild leeks. This species has one main claim to fame: as a medicinal mushroom. And a powerful one at that.

Huh. Who knew?

Beautiful [Invasive] Winged Euonymus, a.k.a. Burning Bush

I finished up this hike on the Darrow Pond Preserve in East Lyme, within hearing if not sight of Route 95. It was another glorious day for hiking in New England, with the warmth and blue skies we’ve been so spoiled with this fall.

See this Peter Marteka story in the Hartford Courant about Richard H. Goodwin Trail. The story includes a link to the complete trail map. Go to the CT DEEP website for info and maps of the Nehantic State Forest, and get a trail map of the Darrow Pond Preserve here. As always, click on the image, above, for details about this hike and to download the GPS track.


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